Sunday, September 16, 2012

With God on our side

It's Sunday, and that means a whole lotta folks will be heading to church this morning, my husband among them. Since cleanliness is next to godliness, I'm going to do some major tidying up around here while he's gone.

[Aside: I should probably clean the house when he is home, so he can see just how much effort it takes. He was raised in a home in which a cleaning lady and cook took care of domestic chores, and he went to a college that offered maid service to its young men. Yes, he's old. And domestically challenged.]

[And another aside: I was raised a Methodist, his family is Episcopalian. I've attended services with them, but cannot abide their hymns. All those sharps and flats ... no offense intended if you love them.]

Anyway.

I've been thinking lately about how frequently and forcefully God is being inserted into our political discourse these days. In spite of the fact that the United States was founded on religious freedom, that separation of church and state is fundamental to our political process and that the colonists were fleeing religious persecution when they came here, there's quite a debate about which party is more godly.

My question is: Whose God?

Which God do you want looking over this process? Most religions have a god-concept. There are differences among them, obviously, or we'd all be praying to The One True God.

But there isn't one, despite what your religion tells you. What if you're wrong? How do you know?

Thanks to Alcoholics Anonymous, my god or God or goddess – however you want to look at him or her – is kind, benevolent, caring and has my best interests at heart. I thank my god/God/goddess every day, all day, for all kinds of things. I never ask for anything. I used to, but have come to believe that my god knows what's best for me, and all the asking in the world won't make it happen. I accept events as lessons, thank him/her and move on. I like to think kindness is my religion. I like to think kindness is all religion.

My Tea Party cousins think their God of Wrath is The One. My Buddhist friends don't pray to a god at all. Mormons and Catholics and Baptists and Jews and Methodists and Episcopalians and bankers and drunks and politicians all praise their own version of god, and they all think they're right.

And they're not. None of us are. I know atheists who refer to God as an imaginary friend. That's a little harsh, in my opinion – and please know that everything I'm writing here is my opinion, I'm not trying to teach theology here. Just raising the question:

Whose God?

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